Legion Episode 1.7 “Chapter 7”
Written by Jennifer Yale
Directed by Dennie Gordon
Created by Noah Hawley & Stan Lee
Starring Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, Jean Smart, Jemaine Clement FX Network
Air date: March 22th, 2017
This is the penultimate episode of Legion’s first amazing season on FX and that honestly just makes me sad. Last week, we were knee deep in Lenny’s version of hell as she had David and all the Summerland gang locked inside David’s head in a version of the Clockworks mental hospital. In there, David (Dan Stevens) seemed content to be there, but girlfriend Syd (Rachel Keller) wanted out and this drew conflict with Lenny (Aubrey Plaza). Kerry (Amber Midthunder) was having separation anxiety from brother Cary (Bill Irwin) and was being stalked by the uber creepy Eye (Mackenzie Gray). Aubrey Plaza was just unbelievable, stealing every scene she’s in, including an unreal impromptu dance number straight out of a Bond opening sequence. And Dan Stevens shows his range like crazy going from wild powerful maniac in episode to somber mental patient who just wants to be in love. Having just watched Stevens dominate the screen as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, I’m left wondering if there is anything the man cannot do…
Spoilers below for this week’s episode of Legion:
In this week’s episode, we open with a visual smorgasbord of color and lighting edited together beautifully while depicting the terror Kerry is facing while trying to flee The Eye. Turning to the Yellow Eyed Demon who blends back into Lenny interrogating Amy (Katie Aselton) to find out more about David’s childhood. Glimmers from the past reveal hints to David’s birth parents, or at least, his birth father. In the Astral Plane, Cary reunites with Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement) who doesn’t remember his wife Melanie (Jean Smart), but knows what’s happening with David and his “parasite.” Clement and Irwin are hilarious in their scene.
Cary: “We have to rescue them.”
Oliver: “Didn’t I just said that, I’m sure I just said that, ‘rescue them’, after the whole Chinese wife debate, which I’m still not totally convinced…”
Lenny is really Amahl Farouk, The Shadow King, an X-Men villain created by Legion co-creator Chris Claremont and John Byrne back in 1979. David is trapped, buried within his own memories. The plan is to create a device, a halo to put over David’s physical head to block out The Shadow King. This however poses a problem, since their physical bodies are about to be shot to pieces so Cary and Oliver need a plan involving everyone.
Cary gets Syd, who knows everything because she’s awesome! Syd heads back to the hospital with Oliver-made sunglasses that are right out of John Carpenter’s They Live; I mean they show reality in black and white. I love how much they have built a real genuine love story here. When badass Syd says, “I’m coming for ya baby,” searching for David, I almost cheered aloud. David is in what I can only describe as “the sunken place” from Get Out, and he starts talking to himself, like another version of himself, with Dan Stevens’ British accent, “in his rational mind.” His rational British mind takes him to a classroom and he writes everything he knows on the blackboard. “Adopted,” “Parasite,” and then we get an amazing sequence where David talks himself through his entire childhood with chalkboard animation. Sure it’s exposition, but it’s done with the usual Legion flair, and with a point to it. Yet another amazing scene from Dan Stevens. The man owns 2017.
Then comes a scene so hypnotic and jaw dropping that I forgot I was reviewing and just sat, mouth open. I went back and rewatched it, it’s minute 39-46 of the episode and it’s possibly the best 7 minutes in television history. The music, the Tim Burton-esque visuals, Aubrey Plaza was like nightmare villain from Edward Scissorhands. I need to rewatch that scene again… there aren’t enough words. The crew working on this show are just top notch, everything from cinematography to editing to musical score…not enough words.
We end the week with Lenny trapped in her own coffin deep inside David fighting to get out, and Division 3 with an old friend returning to cause issues for our heroes. Give Legion ALL the Emmys. Seriously, I am floored by this show every week and every week the show is different and unique. There is NOTHING like it on television, and television is full of comic based shows from both Marvel and DC. If they didn’t throw words like “mutant” around, I wouldn’t even know this was a “superhero” show. It shatters genre conventions and creates a whole new category of amazing each and every week.
Next week, the best show of 2017 comes to its Season 1 finale as Legion returns to FX next Wednesday at 10:00 PM.